Rangers 5, Yankees 4
Texas had been 0-59 this season when trailing going into the ninth. But they came back against Rivera, who has blown three of his last five save chances.
“He’s just had a bad week, he’s human,” Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said.
“He’s just in a slump,” manager Joe Torre said.
Rivera, who has blown five of 26 save tries this season, walked pinch-hitter Rafael Palmeiro to start the ninth.
“I think with the first guy, he was little tentative. We know Rafael Palmeiro is a good hitter, but you have to go after him,” Torre said.
Palmeiro didn’t think there was anything different about his facing Rivera.
“He was challenging me. He always comes after me, I though he was aggressive,” said Palmeiro, who walked on a 3-1 pitch.
Donnie Sadler followed with a sacrifice bunt and Rivera’s high throw sailed into foul territory, with the error putting runners at second and third.
“This kind of game happens in baseball. Tonight, I lost on an error, that was the game,” Rivera said.
“If I think about it, it’s going to be worse. I prefer not the think about it,” he said.
The Yankees now lead the Red Sox by 2 1/2 games after Boston’s 4-2 win over Anaheim.
Nick Johnson homered to start a two-run seventh inning that gave the Yankees a 4-2 lead.
Wells began the eighth and gave up Rodriguez’s 29th home run, and Chris Hammond relieved. Rodriguez has homered five times in his last six games.
Wells allowed three runs on eight hits in seven innings. He walked Ramon Nivar in the first inning, his 12th walk of the season in 153 2-3 innings.
Thomson wild pitched Hideki Matsui home from third in the second inning. The Rangers tied it on Sadler’s sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Jason Giambi led off the Yankees sixth with his AL-leading 33rd homer to make it 2-1. The Rangers got even in the seventh when Jason Jones singled, wentto third on Sadler’s double and scored on Greene’s grounder. ^Notes: Yankees 2B Alfonso Soriano did not play. His right thumb was bruised when he was hit by a pitch from Texas’ Colby Lewis on Tuesday night. … Jerer extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a fifth-inning infield single. … Since the start of 2001, the Rangers have won eight of 12 games at Yankee Stadium, including four of their last five. Before that, Texas had been 8-28 at the ballpark over the previous seven seasons. … Nelson arrived during thegame but was not in uniform.